Jersey City is often dwarfed by the bright lights and reputation of New York City, but across the Hudson lights are blazing in New Yorks “6th Borough”. From the new developments Downtown to the long-standing multicultural history, Jersey City is becoming a proper destination. This past weekend this was put on full display during the Jersey City Artist Studio Tour aka JCAST. Over 100 studios and artists opened their studios and put their work on display for all to see. From the Heights down to Downtown to Westside and Greenville, the whole city was alive in color and sound.
Despite a hard-hitting cold, I tried to see as much as I could. The adventure began Friday night at the kickoff party at the JCAST Flagship Gallery at 150 Pacific. This beautiful event included over 1,000 installations, 165 artists and 25 curators. There was live performances by Art House Productions and live music. Attendees wandered the large space through an array of styles. Each section brought a new section. On the second floor there was a soothing neon lounge, an interactive area for children and the thrilling stage. Downstairs you easily got lost among the art and curious people. Early on this was an impressive showing of creativity and character setting the tone for a weekend of limitless potential.
Saturday we started off going to one of my favorite spots, the Hive JC. They had a stacked weekend of music running all day and night. There was also a lot of amazing pieces gracing the walls of the unique venue from Old Broads to Goomba and many more. Upstairs the Deep Space Gallery was open featuring pieces by TF Dutchman and Mr. Mustart. Early in the day we caught straight bars from Raca Cash and Dojo. After that, we took a quick intermission from the Hive and continued our journey West.
We first arrived at the McGinley Square Pub which featured a collection of work by Mr. Ability. After that we crossed the street to go to the beautiful streetwear experience, the Clearport. The experience based store continued their gift for themes with a group exhibition called “7 Years of Bad Luck“. All around the store there was signs of bad luck- spilled salt, broken mirrors and the main attraction the painted open umbrellas hanging from the ceilings. But for those on the superstitious side store owner, Hayoner, provided wood to knock on just in case.
At this point rain started hitting Jersey City and the cold medicine was wearing off, so we caught a ride back to the Hive in time to catch the dudes PeteyXKraze hit the stage. If you haven’t seen my previous posts these dudes are ones to keep an eye one and they brought some new music to the stage for JCAST. We decided the Hive was the last spot on our tour. A few bears, some Donkey Kong, some dancing and a new TF Dutchman piece for the house and our night was over. With Break-a-Leg promotions in the cut, it was the place to be.
Unfortunately, the next day we didn’t have it in us to catch more, but there were a ton of amazing events I missed from the launch of the exciting new Jersey City street art app Canvs App, to Wolf Juice‘s display with air-brushing artist Punisher, to the Project Greenville and much more. The city was nonstop and was a show of the real talent that is available in Jersey City. As this city changes in a lot of ways, it is great to see the neighborhoods and groups that are taking initiative to move forward and keep the culture alive.
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